2020 : Our Rides in Words, Photos & Videos

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Been a good year so far as the project I have been working on here for the last 6 months is winding down and the weather has been favorable for rides with my buddy Stewie that is on loan and trail ready.

And DavidB, your trees are so small!

1: Exploring a new section of trail

2: Old growth Sitka Spruce about a mile from my place, and not the only one....

3: Obligatory ocean background pic


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#3 of 5 : Richmond River Ride — Burns Point Ferry

I've just noticed that with a bit of squinting one can see that Ride with GPS on my iPhone is displaying the river crossing (and adding the ferry's 'voyage' to my ride total!). An app worth having.
By the way David, has Bosch added functionality and updates to the Kiox such that you have revised your earlier assessment?
JRA, Steve, Guv and Richard …
One f the delights of riding my ebikes – yes, I still have Trekkie – is exploring new places and searching out information about them and the sights (lift bridges and cable ferries included!).

I remember crossing rivers on cable ferries powered by gangs of men marching down the side as if they were on a treadmill. Another place; another time. The Richmond River ferry is a two-person craft; one with a straw hat ('everyone' in Australia has one; $5 from Bunnings hardware) directing loading, and one without a hat who is seated high in the bridge determining whether we go this way or that. I know… reality is definitely a bit more complicated, especially when river crossings don't run to plan.

Trees! Should that be 'pretend trees'? There are mountain ashes in Victoria and forests of tingle and karri in Western Australia that are spectacular. Around here, appreciation of 'the bush' is an acquired taste but the wet tropics are special in their own way.

Here are few photos from times gone by.
… David

Daintree in the Wet Tropics — Far North Queensland …

Southern Forests of Western Australia …

Left : Tingle Forest – Eucalyptus jacksonii
Right x3 : Karri Forest – Eucalyptus diversicolor

The climbing spikes on the karri tree lead to a lookout platform at around sixty metres; the tree goes up a bit more, of course. There are two other lookout trees in WA's southwest, with this one, the Gloucester Tree (named after a British royal; great-grandson of Queen Victoria) available for climbing. Even though the pegs were long enough to allow passing, I decided that scaling the equivalent of a twenty-storey building was not for me.
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#5 of 5 : Richmond River Ride — River & cycleway meet the Pacific …

A harbour breakwater is a readymade excuse for a walking and cycling path! The entrance to the Richmond River at Ballina has training walls around a kilometre long. Perfect! (Coastguard building to left of path.)

Below: the view from the seaward end of the breakwater. There was no need to get off the Homage: open the Ortlieb handlebar bag (fitted with camera insert), take out my compact camera, and Click! – back up the river – and Click! again – up the coast in the direction of the next ride.


Keep on with the pictures of torture.
Cowlitz and friends …
I have no interesting rides planned for this week. No new places to explore for the moment… but we all have photos taken along our favourite, or not-so-favourite, bike paths. Often we'll share them with walkers or even horse riders; sometimes they'll be inadequate, but still interesting.

Here's my first contribution which, as can be seen, led me along the NSW coast north of the Richmond River. My guess: twenty or thirty years old and far too short, but otherwise acceptable.

Please share.
… David

Interesting bike paths — just above sea-level …
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Interesting bike paths — crossing the wetlands …

Moreton Bay Cycleway — Victoria Point, Queensland.

The planks are synthetic (made from recycled plastic containers) and properly attached to the framework so this boardwalk should avoid a clattery fall-apart old age.
Interesting bike paths — achieving the impossible …

The old road to Brisbane Airport, Kingsford Smith Drive (KSD), was squeezed between cliffs and the river. Every bit of space had been used up. KSD was one of those horrors of modern cities, a winding road with two dangerously narrow lanes in each direction and a continuous line down the centre as a reminder not too smack into oncoming traffic. Between the road and the river there was a path so narrow that pedestrians meeting on it had to stop and edge past sideways.

So what was to be done? Tunnels and an elevated motorway took care of traffic to the airport but the traffic on KSD continued to increase. Solution: straighten the road, increase it to six wide lanes and expand that oh-so-narrow pathway to what you see above.

Charles Kingsford Smith, Australia's most famous aviator, was born across the river from where this photo was taken. Smithy led an extraordinary life best remembered for a long list of record-setting flights. (The details, like going to school in Vancouver, BC, tend to be forgotten!)

His exploits in his beloved Fokker Trimotor, the Southern Cross, made him famous. In 1928 Smithy, with a crew of four, left Oakland, California, bound for Australia which they reached after just two stops – Hawaii and Fiji. But where had they crossed the coast? Down below was a wide river and a tiny town. The Richmond River… and Ballina, of course! They flew north to Smithy's hometown and plonked the Southern Cross down a grassy field known as Eagle Farm which is at the end of the road that bears his name. And there, to this very day, one can visit the first aircraft to cross the Pacific.

Did you notice? No blue sky; blurry shadows! Perfect cycling weather (26 max).
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Actually they were waiting for the other three boats from their school to catch up! The new school year commences in two weeks, so these lads were getting in some early training. Fierce rivalry awaits in the river city.

In the background: a divided wooden boardwalk of the sort that never lets up groaning about the pains of old age.
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Return of the rowers …

Practice will make perfect. Photo from the same position on the bridge but looking the other way.

For the engineers amongst us, some eye candy showing how to make a cycle and pedestrian bridge from sticks and string (main span 128 m).
Cropped from the photo above.
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